RIM releases new BlackBerry Bold for AT&T, T-Mobile

Research In Motion introduced a new version of its BlackBerry Bold smartphone, less than a week after announcing a successor to its Storm phone. The actions come as RIM and its rivals gear up for the critical fourth-quarter holiday shopping season.

The new Bold phone, called the BlackBerry Bold 9700, will be available through AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile USA, among other carriers around the world. The upgrade replaces the original Bold's trackball with an optical track pad and also has a faster browser and a slimmer and lighter profile than the original. The device is meant to appeal to enterprise users and serve as a high-end smartphone for consumers.

"We think it's a major upgrade that appeals to professionals and to consumers, both men and women," RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie said in an interview with Reuters.

The Bold 9700 runs on BlackBerry OS 5.0, has a 624 MHz processor, 256 MB of flash memory, GPS, a 3.2-megapixel camera, a 3.5 mm headset jack and a microSD slot capable of holding up to 16 GB. The phone also supports WiFi calling via UMA, a feature T-Mobile is touting heavily.

AT&T will sell the Bold 9700 for $199.99 with a two-year contract and after a $100 mail-in rebate. T-Mobile will sell the phone for $199.99 with a two-year contract. Neither carrier offered a specific release date, but AT&T said the device will be available in "the coming weeks" and T-Mobile said it will be available "in time for the holiday season."   

For more:
- see these pictures and specs
- see this Reuters article
- see this RIM release
- see this AT&T release
- see this T-Mobile release

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